Second World War - Impact.

Impact and effects of the Second World War

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Gloria
  • Created on: 07-05-14 09:23

Migration

WHY? 

  • Defence industries became vitally important. 
  • Southern farming became more mechanised and large-scale (therefore, blacks not needed to work on farms) 

WHAT HAPPENED?

African-Americans moved to the cities. 4 million LEFT Southern farms and 2 million migrated to the North and West. 

BENEFITS?

  • Large scale migration gave blacks greater economic and political power.
  • Gave greater safety - harder for white supremacists intimidate large groups of black people.
1 of 7

Blacks and whites in overcrowded cities

WHAT DID THIS CAUSE?

  • Urban housing shortages - Whites saw blacks as rivals for homes (caused tension)
  • Race Riots - 1943 race riots (worst ones in Detroit - 39 people died, and 800 were left injured)
  • Unusual close proximity - caused tension, especially in the South. Acts of defiance on overcrowded buses. 

CITY AUTHORITIES SYMPATHETIC?

No and if they were, they had a funny way of showing it. Washington DC's black community suffered as the federal government expanded, physically (e.g. Several hundred black homes were demolished to make way for the Pentagon building)


2 of 7

Blacks and whites working together.

TENSION IN THE WORKPLACE

  • 1943: White workers (female & male) lashed out at black workers with any 'weapons' they could lay their hands on, including bricks and tools - 50 injured.

WHY?

  • Jealousy over the best jobs.
  • (Alpha tendency) White males disliked black men working alongside white women. 

BLACKS SERVING IN THE ARMED FORCES. 

  • Southern military bases containing Northern black soldiers were trouble spots (Louisana: drunken black soldier's arrest led to a 2 hour riot - 13 blacks were shot)

WHAT DID THIS CAUSE?

The number & intensity of unfairness helped mobilise blacks to try to help themselves. 

3 of 7

Increased black consciousness & activism.

WHICH CIVIL RIGHTS ORGANISATION BENEFITTED?

The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People) numbers increased from 50k to 450k during WW2.

  • New members: Most were Southern professionals (1/3 of NAACP members were Southern) Co-operation with trade unions also brought in urban workers. 
  • Close co-operation between the NAACP and trade unionists transformed leadership into effective work on equal educational opportunities and voter registration. 

NORTHERN BLACKS

  • Pointed out that the USA itself had not achieved true democracy until all Southern blacks could vote (white Americans became increasingly aware)

BENEFITS FOR BLACKS?

  • More bargaining power - wartime demand. (Randolph threatened to bring DC to a standstill unless there was equality in the armed forces - forced Roosevelt to create the FEPC (Fair Employment Practice Commission)
4 of 7

Sits-ins and boycotts.

JAMES FARMER.

  • Encouraged economic boycotts and other non-violent tactics.
  • 1942: Established CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) - organised sit-ins at segregated Chicago restaurants & demanded desegregation on interstate transport.

ADAM POWELL.

1941: Led a succcesful bus boycott to force the company to employ more blacks. 

HOWEVER...

  • Most blacks considered activism as eccentric. 
  • Most blacks remained passive in WW2, not wanting to seem unpatriotic and fearing disorder (esp after Detroit race riots)
  • Riots convinced many blacks that Randolph & the radicals were irresponsible. Wartime prosperity also militated against activism.
5 of 7

Federal intervention.

HOW SUCCESSFUL WAS THE FEPC

  • Not very: 2/3 of 8000 job discrimination cases referred to the FEPC were dismissed (lowered ec/soc status of blacks, shows that they weren't taking it seriously)
  • Not very: 1/3 of Southern cases were black victories.
  • Southern congressmen decreased the FEPC's funding after it was given greater power in 1943.
  • Succesful: Was enough to show importance of federal intervention. (B+ for effort)

US JUSTICE DEPARTMENT.

Established a Civil Rights Division - tried to decrease lynching and police brutality in the South. 

SOUTHERN POLITICAL RIGHTS.

  • 1944 Supreme Court decision (SMITH v ALLWRIGHT). Declared that the exclusion of blacks from primaries as UNCONSTITUITIONAL. 
  • Segregationists resorted to illegal methods to stop blacks from voting.
  • 1940-1947: Number of black registered voters increased from 3% to 12%
6 of 7

Conclusions

SUCCESSES?

  • Greater black urbanisation - increased awareness and activism.
  • Blacks were inspired by the USA's fight against facism abroad, direct action was increasing and instrumental in the establishment of the FEPC.
  • NAACP were slowly getting rid of the 'separate but equal' law.
  • Demobilised soldiers were given government aid for a college edcuation - education increased their economic opportunities (ec++) and made them more articulate in demanding equality. 

FAILURES or something.

  • Irrelevant to Southern blacks - rejected militancy lest it alienated Southern white liberals.  Watched the activism with interest.
  • When white servicemen came back from the war, blacks were fired from wartime jobs.
  • Segregated armed forces decreased morale of some blacks while inspiring others for change. 
7 of 7

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all Civil Rights movement resources »